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June 13, 2022 7 min read

Brian Shaw is one of America’s foremost professional strongmen. He started his fitness journey with the purpose of improving his abilities in his favorite sport, basketball. He was quite good at basketball and even got a basketball scholarship to play for the Black Hills State University basketball team.Although weightlifting started out as a means to an end, soon weightlifting became the end itself and the object of total passion. 

Brian Shaw became the winner of the 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2016 World’s Strongest Man competitions.

In 2011, he also won the Arnold Strongman Classic, becoming the first person to win the World’s Strongest Man and the Arnold Strongman Classic competitions in the same year.

Impressive? Yes, and to top it off he repeated the feat by winning both competitions in 2015. Some people even claim that he is the strongest person to have ever lived, and he has some world records to back it up.  With a pedigree like that, you might think that Brian Shaw knows a thing or two about the ideal bodybuilding routine and diet plan to get absolutely ripped, and you would be right. 

The importance of the correct diet for gaining muscle mass often gets overlooked or ignored, leaving many people who live and breathe the gym life disappointed when all of their efforts don’t amount to the gains they envisioned.

A lot of people think that working out is the hard part and eating the right foods is the easy part (when is the last time you left the dinner table sweating and out of breath?), but in fact, eating the right foods and taking high-quality performance and nutritional supplements, like the Ultimate Mass Stack, can be really difficult. 

This is because there is a knowledge barrier. With so much hype around new diet trends, often with conflicting information, it can be incredibly difficult to know what source to trust.

That's why Brian Shaw’s real workout routine and diet plan are like an oasis in a desert for those who want to get ripped because both the weightlifting routine and the diet plan have the validity that comes with tried and true real-world results. 

The Brian Shaw Workout Routine

Keeping up with a solid workout routine is crucial for gaining and maintaining muscle mass. If getting bigger and stronger is your goal, check out Brian Shaw's workout routine.   

Monday: Leg Day

Weighted Squat

  • 2-5 reps, 5-8 sets, rest time 1-2 minutes


Good Mornings 

  • 8-15 reps, 4-5 sets, rest time 1-2 minutes

 

Isolation Hammer Leg Press

  • 8-15 reps, 4-5 sets, rest time 1 minute

 

Leg Extension 

  • 6-12 reps, 3-5 sets, rest time 1 minute

 

Leg Curls 

  • 8-15 reps, 3-5 sets, rest time 1 minute

 

Tuesday: Chest, Shoulder, Triceps

Standing Military Press 

  • 3-8 reps, 5-8 sets, rest time 30 seconds to 1 minute


Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 

  • 8-12 reps,  3 sets, rest time 1-2 minutes


Close-Grip Bench Press 

  • 5-8 reps, 3 sets, rest time 1-2 minutes

 

Cable Triceps Extension 

  • 8-12 reps, 3 sets, rest time 30 seconds to 1 minute

 

Wednesday: rest

Because we all need one. Although you may think working out everyday will get you results, taking recovery days play an important role in muscle growth and performance. So, take a day off the gym at least once a week, and always listen to your body.  

Thursday: deadlifts and back

Deadlift 

  • 1-5 reps, 5-8 sets, rest time 1-2 minutes

Glute-Ham Raise 

  • 8-12 reps, 3 sets, rest time 1 minute


Lat Pull-Downs 

  • 8-12 reps, 3 sets, rest time 1 minute

 

Seated Cable Row 

  • 8-12 reps, 3 sets, rest time 1 minute

 

Barbell Shrug 

  • 20 reps, 3 sets, rest time 1 minute

Friday: Rest

The more intense your workout routine, the more recovery you need. Whether that means rest days, lower-intensity days, or taking HyperAde to restore muscle glycogen and electrolytes. 


Saturday: Strongman Training

Log Press

 

Farmer’s Walk

 

Atlas Stones 

 

Sunday: rest

Brian Shaw’s Workout Tips

Luckily, for those of us who want to get ripped like Brian Shaw, the strongman is not stingy when it comes to advice on how to execute his weight training routine.

In interviews and through his social media platforms, he has consistently dropped nuggets of guidance and insights into what his workout routine and fitness journey looks like for him.

Outlined below are some of Shaw’s most useful and relatable tips for working out:

  1. Make working out as accessible as possible: for Brian Shaw this means that he has all of his workout equipment in his garage so he does not have to leave the houseon his training days. The other added advantage to working out at home is that he doesn’t have to drive home from the gym, wasting precious time before he eats one of his legendarily huge meals. Of course, not everyone has the space or the financial means to set up a gym in their garage, but the message of accessibility still rings true. 
  1. Make getting flexible as much as a priority as lifting weights: For Shaw, flexibility is incredibly important. According to Shaw, more flexibility translates into more strength. Moreover, you are much less likely to get injured if your joints and muscles are limber; this is especially important for people like Shaw who are lifting massive amounts of weight. If you are reading this article, lifting larger and larger amounts of weight is probably your goal too, so do some research into the best stretches and get to it. Shaw recommends factoring in a 15 minute warm up consisting of stretching and light cardio before each workout.
  1. Start small and build your strength incrementally: Someone doesn’t become a strongman overnight, and although it may be tempting to push yourself to the max from the start, its more effective to pace yourself. Starting small and building up a solid base to grow from is more sustainable and it means that you are far less likely to get derailed by an injury.
  1. It's all about technique: For Shaw, weightlifting is all about quality instead of quantity. He is almost obsessive about nailing down the right technique every time he approaches an exercise. 

Brian Shaw’s Diet Plan

Being a strongman means eating an incredible amount of calories.

Shaw eats a whopping 12,000 calories in a single day, which means that he eats every two hours for a total of 7 meals.

Overall, his diet consists of approximately 705 grams of protein, 1402 grams of carbs, and 400 grams of fat.

Shaw says that eating is the hardest part of his training because it never stops. It will take some dedication, but you can eat like Brian Shaw too. If you are serious about bodybuilding, you may eventually want to consult a nutritionist. Everybody’s bodies are different, and Shaw’s diet comes from his nutritionist who tailored it for his body.

Shaw has some does and don'ts when it comes to eating. 

What to Eat:

  1. Organic grass fed beef.
  2. Organic turkey.
  3. High quality whey protein
  4. Simple carbs (i.e. Cereal, pasta).
  5. Organic eggs.
  6. Peanut butter.
  7. Organic blueberries. 
  8. Organic broccoli. 
  9. Organic asparagus.
  10. Jasmine rice.
  11. Potatoes. 
  12. Coconut milk.
  13. Granola.
  14. Cheesecake.

What Not to Eat:

  1. Non-organic food.
  2. Genetically modified foods (GMOs)
  3. Chemical ingredients.
  4. Preservatives. 
  5. Artificial additives.
  6. Junk food. 

A Typical 7-Meal Day for Brian Shaw

Meal 1:

Shaw starts the day right by consuming 8 eggs, his favorite cereal, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and a large quantity of peanut butter. Shaw recommends not cooking the eggs for two long since they are easier to eat in large quantities if they are a little soft. 

  • 8 whole eggs (scrambled)
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereals with almond milk
  • Peanut butter
  • Multivitamin

Nutrition: 68g protein, 74g carbs, 68g fat, 1,180 total calories

Meal 2: 

Just about an hour later, Shaw makes a whey protein shake with 80g of protein (mixed with water). Additionally, he eats two granola bars and some more peanut butter.

  • 3-4 scoops of whey protein shake
  • Peanut butter
  • 2 granola bars

Nutrition: 115g protein, 92g carbs, 25g fat, 1,053 total calories

Meal 3:

For Shaw’s third meal, he often eats eats pasta with meat sauce. His preferred meat is organic grass-fed ground beef, and he recommends that the beef be locally sourced since he believes that it is easier to absorb the nutrients and calories from high quality beef. Shaw himself gets all his beef from a local farmer in Colorado.

  • 12 oz of ground beef.
  • 2 cups of pasta.
  • Red sauce.

Nutrition: 172g protein, 191g carbs, 82g fat, 2,190 total calories 

Meal 4: 

For his fourth meal, Shaw goes back to a whey protein shake with almond milk, frozen organic blueberries, and peanut butter. The protein shake is the ideal meal for someone trying to eat as much as is required for a strongman because they are easy to make and can be downed quickly.

  • 3-4 scoops of whey protein.
  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk.
  • Blueberries.
  • Peanut butter.

Nutrition: 112g protein, 89g carbs, 22g fat, 1,002 total calories

Meal 5: 

Shaw eats his fifth meal before his workout for the day. The meal is a big one, consisting of turkey or salmon burgers, jasmine rice, sweet potato fries, and broccoli. 

  • 12 oz of lean turkey or salmon.
  • 1 cup of jasmine rice.
  • 2 cups of broccoli.
  • Sweet potato fries.

Nutrition: 117g protein, 145g carbs, 41g fat, 1,417 total calories 

Meal 6:  

Shaw eats his sixth meal post-workout. For this meal Shaw might treat himself to a huge order of Italian takeout. This meal is a bit more complex than all of his other one’s, but when you are training as hard as Brian Shaw, you really do deserve a tasty meal every now and again.

  • 14 oz of beefsteak.
  • One or two baked potatoes.
  • Asparagus or mixed-green salad with balsamic dressing. 
  • Red sauce.
  • One apple or some other fruit.

Nutrition: 16g protein, 704g carbs, 72g fat, ~3,430 total calories 

Meal 7:  

Like everything about Brian Shaw, his before sleep snack is a big one, consisting of four pieces of cheesecake, a protein shake with 80 grams of protein, and a multivitamin.

  • 4 pieces of cheesecake.
  • 2-3 scoops of whey protein.
  • Multivitamin.

Nutrition: 105g protein, 107g carbs, 89g fat, 1,649 total calories

Time to Go Big with the Brian Shaw Workout Routine and Diet Plan

If you feel a little overwhelmed after reading this article, don’t worry: Brain Shaw did not become a world renowned strongman competitor overnight, and you certainly don't have to. We believe that the most important takeaway from Brian Shaw is the value of pacing oneself.

This means taking the time to learn how to stretch correctly and not skipping your stretches because you just want to jump into your weight training session.

This means building a solid base of muscle instead of trying to max out right away and making sure that you have nailed down the correct form for whatever powerlifting exercise you take on.

This means gradually adding more and more meals so that your body and your metabolism have time to adjust the the greater intake of calories.

Most of all, this means being patient with yourself. It takes a lot of willpower and motivation to do what Brian Shaw does. Allow yourself some mistakes and enjoy the process.